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FOIA News: FOIA 'Reading Room' Case Heads for Do-Over

FOIA News (2015-16)Kevin SchmidtComment

FOIA 'Reading Room' Case Heads for Do-Over

By Adam Klafeld, Courthouse News Service, Mar. 10, 2016

A watchdog group must try again if it wants to force the Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel to share documents in a so-called "FOIA Reading Room," a federal judge ruled.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a Washington-based advocacy group, has been fighting for nearly three years to get the Justice Department to automatically subject its subagency's legal opinions to public scrutiny.

Currently, the public can use the Freedom of Information Act to force the department to release specific legal opinions upon request.

Hoping to streamline this process, the watchdog sued the department under the Administrative Procedure Act to make the Office of Legal Counsel set up an online "reading room" for all such documents.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Amit Mehta found that the case must be filed again under the FOIA statute in order to have any chance of succeeding.

Read more here.